I read Michael Linton’s posting that begins: “R.R. Reno recently wrote here (I tried to come up with another ‘r’ word instead of ‘h’ but got stumped) . . . ” Friend, are ye not Southren? Know ye not the handy location indicator, “right-here,” pronounced “rat-cheer”?

Anyway, my apologies for being scarce on this blog lately. I just got home from the hospital, where our daughter Megan delivered our seventh grandchild, a nearly nine-pound big boy named Michael, at dawn today. All went well, though I’m beat. But I wanted to thank Ross Douthat for directing us to the investigative pieces on Ole Anthony and Joe Francis. Both cases seemed such clear examples of how sin is a creeping sickness, a matter of self-inflicted wounds, and how the Evil One succeeds by hints and suggestions to coax human beings to caress and cherish their desires so that, step by step, they are led to sign their own spiritual death warrants (James 1:14-15). There was a point at which Ole and Joe were free choosers and could decide whether or not to take the next step toward delusions of omnipotence. But after awhile, it gets nearly impossible to tell what truth is any more. “First a man takes a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes the man.”

I thought each had a specific quotation that indicated they’d made a total break with how reality actually works. With Ole, it was: “Faith has to be total if it’s going to be anything. If something comes to my mind, I say it.” The delusional connection that whatever comes to his mind is spiritually mandated. He seems to be eaten up with self-hatred. And with Joe it was that he honestly thinks a good way to deal with a charge of rape that has been leveled at him publicly is to respond with a statement that he is well-endowed. This is a man living in a fantasy world, and I suspect somewhat bloated and sickened by it, but doesn’t know where else to go.

They both need a lot of prayer because they have likely gotten to a place that they can’t get out of by themselves. A shock like this, public exposure, may help. But as we approach the feast of the Falling-Asleep of the Virgin Mary next Tuesday, let’s ask that powerful intercessor and flame of purity to pray for the rescue of these damaged but beloved souls.

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